Electronics

Building an ESP32 Light Controller

In this post I am going to do a deep dive into the electronics design for my simulated sunrise/sunset aquarium light project. If you have not read that post, I recommend starting with that. Disclosure: JLCPCB is sponsoring my projects, but I had already been a big fan of their …

Electronics

Simulating Sunrise/Sunset For My Aquarium

Why? This is what I started with: It’s… fine, but the lighting left a lot to be desired. Lighting is not just aesthetic – those are real plants, and plants require light for photosynthesis. A lot more light than most people imagine! In a tank of this size, with plants …

Project Log

Building a Bamboo Planter (aka My Neighbours’ Cats’ Toilet)

I live in a huge apartment block on the ground floor with a private garden facing a large communal garden. The view is nice, but the lack of privacy bothers me, so I have taken to growing bamboo to make a living privacy screen. I don’t want to use commercial …

Electronics

Designing a 13A Arduino Motor Shield

I am currently working on a tensile strength testing rig that will be detailed in a future post, but as part of that project, I need an Arduino shield that can drive a 12V/13A linear actuator. Electrically speaking, linear actuators are just DC motors. However, because I need to be …

Project Log

UnnaturalLight – Part 2: Electrical Design

Blinking a few LEDs… how hard can it be? As it turned out, harder than I thought it would be! As the LEDs draw about 1W each, and I am using 48 per lamp, thermal management is the main challenge. The desired function is simple enough – a controller that …

Project Log

UnnaturalLight – Part 1: Mechanical / Optical Design

Lamps come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. For this first design, I wanted something relatively simple and small, but easily scalable to larger designs later if necessary. What I settled on is a rectangular desk lamp made out of acrylic panels, with LED chips, mounted on a custom …

Project Log
1

UnnaturalLight – Adjustable Colour Temperature Lighting

Welcome to the first post of the blog series on Project UnnaturalLight, an LED lamp with adjustable colour temperature. Many Shades of White The sun changes colour throughout the day, as observed from a fixed point on Earth. In the morning, it looks orange/red, and as the day goes on, …

Project Log
6

DIY Computer Case – Acrylic and LASER!!

Rumour had it that one of the big Internet companies decommissioned and sold a bunch of their dual-socket servers at the end of 2015, and sent the second hand prices of some really nice Xeons plummeting to 10-20% the prices they were going for before. I didn’t hear about this …

Project Log

Acrylic Mirror

Most modern mirrors are made out of one of two materials – silvered glass or mirror acrylic. They are constructed similarly – silver backing applied to one side of a transparent material (either glass or acrylic). Light enters through the transparent material, and gets reflected back by the silver backing. …